(Continued from yesterday)
Recap: Radical philanthropist George Soros gave $1 million to Media Matters for America, a well-funded slander shop that roots out “conservative misinformation.” It’s all part of his campaign to suppress conservative ideas that stand in the way of pushing America even farther to the left.
The left has been hyperventilating about Beck ever since he moved from CNN to Fox News in early 2009 and quickly became the Obama administration’s most vociferous high-profile critic. In particular, liberals could not abide Beck righteously fulminating against the shadowy Tides Foundation, a pass-through entity that allows wealthy individuals to give to radical causes anonymously.
Eric Boehlert, a so-called senior fellow at Media Matters, seized an opportunity when a deranged would-be shooter named Byron Williams jumped into the headlines last year. After a shootout with the California Highway Patrol, Williams said he had been on his way to shoot up the San Francisco offices of Tides in hopes of sparking a revolution. Williams was never actually much of a threat to Tides. When police pulled him over on a Sunday when the Tides offices were closed, the inept insurrectionist was drunk.
Media Matters argued that Beck had blood on his hands because Williams claimed Beck’s program was one of his favorite TV shows. Boehlert blogged that Beck “has routinely smeared the low-profile entity [i.e. Tides] for being staffed by ‘thugs’ and ‘bullies’ and involved in ‘the nasty of the nastiest,’ like indoctrinating schoolchildren and creating a ‘mass organization to seize power.'” Williams “wasn’t able to open fire inside the offices of the Tides Foundation, an organization ‘nobody knew’ about until Glenn Beck started targeting it.”
Aside from the rhetorical flourishes, Beck had provided a more or less accurate picture of the Tides Foundation, its sister groups, and many of its grant recipients.
As Trevor Loudon wrote in the October 2010 Foundation Watch, “The Tides Foundation and Tides Center are the radical left’s best kept secret. Together they provide tens of millions of dollars annually to some of the most extreme, destructive charities in America. Their money has gone to an assortment of questionable groups including ACORN, Media Matters for America, and the Center for Constitutional Rights.” (The Center was profiled in the September 2006 Organization Trends.)
According to David Horowitz’s online encyclopedia of the left, DiscoverTheNetworks.org, the Tides family of foundations has also funded the violent anarchist group known as the Ruckus Society, United for Peace and Justice (a group headed by pro-Castro activist Leslie Cagan), the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), three of whose executives have been indicted for terrorism-related activities, and the National Lawyers Guild.
NLG “began as a Communist front organization and remains proud of its lineage,” the encyclopedia notes. At a 2003 NLG convention Lynne Stewart said in a keynote address: “And modern heroes, dare I mention? Ho and Mao and Lenin, Fidel and Nelson Mandela and John Brown, Ché Guevara … Our quests like theirs are to shake the very foundations of the continents.” Stewart was later convicted of providing “material support” to her client sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, whose terrorist group bombed the World Trade Center in 1993, killing six people and injuring upwards of a thousand.
Stewart, incidentally, has made no secret of her views. “I don’t believe in anarchist violence but in directed violence,” the New York Times quoted her saying in 1995. “That would be violence directed at the institutions which perpetuate capitalism, racism, sexism, and at the people who are the appointed guardians of those institutions and accompanied by popular support.”
For expressing his informed opinion about Tides, Beck was described by Boehlert as something approaching a murderer. As John Sexton notes after the Byron Williams incident Boehlert viciously attacked Beck for weeks, logic and truth be damned:
Eric Boehlert, Senior Fellow at Media Matters, made much of the Beck connection saying that Beck had come close to having a “body count.” In addition to Media Matters, Boehlert’s article was picked up by major liberal sites including Current TV, Huff Post, Salon, Alternet and Truthout. But it was distributed much more widely by blogs. A Google search for the title of his piece, in quotes, yields 57,000 results. The left ate it up like cotton candy.
And Boehlert inspired others in the media to follow his lead. Just a few days after his piece made the rounds, Dana Milbank at the Washington Post (who was about to publish a book on Beck which relied heavily on Media Matters) did what amounted to a sloppy rewrite of Boehlert’s piece.
And that was really just the beginning. Over succeeding weeks, Media Matters put up dozens of stories (1,600 search results) about Byron Williams, all of them mentioning Glenn Beck. Boehlert himself returned to the topic several months later using the same extended network of liberal sites. He once again blamed the shootings on Beck.
Is turnabout fair play? In December a crazed shooter cited Media Matters as one of his inspirations.
Clay Duke, the late Florida school board shooter (who killed himself Dec. 14 after threatening officials during a school board meeting), listed Media Matters on his Facebook page as one of his favorite websites. Therefore, according to Boehlert’s reasoning, Media Matters should share some of the blame for Duke’s violent acts.
Did Boehlert’s rants push Clay Duke to act? According to Boehlert’s own logic, Media Matters has blood on its hands. Stretch Boehlert’s bizarre reasoning a little further and George Soros becomes an accomplice after the fact for funding Media Matters.
That’s crazy but it’s the kind of tortured logic that passes for thinking at Media Matters.
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